PLAN Carrier-Based Fighters Complete Night-time Buddy Refueling in Flight
(Source: China Military Online; issued July 29, 2020)
Chinese carrier pilots are slowly working up to extend their capabilities, and have now begun to train for buddy in-flight refueling at night. Seen here are two J-15 carrier-based fighters practicing such a maneuver. (China Military photo)
HULUDAO --- Recently, two J-15 carrier-based fighter jets attached to a ship-borne aviation unit under the PLA Navy (PLAN) have successfully completed the nighttime buddy refueling training in air space, marking a new breakthrough in their all-weather long-range combat capability.

Aerial refueling, also known as centimeter-level flight, is universally recognized as one of the most challenging flight events, as it is extremely easy for the aircraft to scratch or even collude in the dim light against a dark background.

This time, nighttime buddy refueling training was conducted between two carrier-based J-15 fighters, which are only about 10 meters separated during the aerial refueling process. This placed extremely high requirements on the pilots' operational skills, physiological and psychological conditions, and cooperation capabilities.

According to Zhang Ye, commander in charge of the training, up to now, a series of subjects with superior difficulties, such as day-and-night carrier landings, aerial refueling in daytime and nighttime, etc., have been completed by the PLAN ship-borne aviation units.

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